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Charles Voogd (Underwaterland)
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Georg Solti - Elgar: Symphony No.2.Cockaigne Overture [Japan CD] UCCD-4666
Georg Solti - Elgar: Symphony No.2.Cockaigne Overture [Japan CD] UCCD-4666

5.0 out of 5 stars To throw away your money, 18 Feb 2013
This release is indentical to all other Elgar/Solti/Symphony 1 or 2 releases which can be had for around 1 or 2 pounds Sterling. Only if you like Japanese characters surely anyone can read this is for you. Don't let you fool yourself by thinking this CD sounds better; it doesn't. The only difference is that - listening with headphones - you'll loose some tape hiss and so you'll loose some dynamics. The price is absurd! The preformance a revelation.


Symphony No. 27, Cello Concerto (Polyansky, Rsso, Ivashkin)
Symphony No. 27, Cello Concerto (Polyansky, Rsso, Ivashkin)
Price: £14.85

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't live without the Svetlanov but this one is so much better recorded, 8 Feb 2013
I totally agree with the other reviewers but please consider that the Chandos recording is far more superior than the Svetlanov. Although the Svetlanov claims to be digital I really think it isn't. The balance engineers do nothing else than pulling instruments to the foreground and than backwards again. The opening of the symphony says all. First exagerated woodwinds, after that glassy strings and blanketed basses and the moment the whole orchestra acellerates the dynamics are lowered. The Chandos recording is a very atmospheric affair, every instrument at it's proper place, great string sound. Go for it too, it's great.


Szymanowski: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 4, Concert Overture
Szymanowski: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 4, Concert Overture
Price: £14.40

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very much Bravo and Thumbs Up, 24 Jan 2013
If it happens to be that you're new to the sensuousness of Szymanowski's music I can only hope you'll buy this CD, because it's the best possible introduction to this world. If you happen to know something of this music, like me, it's time to get rid of my older CD's with Szymanowski's music - although Simon Rattle did a good job for the man on EMI - the Chandos' recording quality and the orchestral playing is far more superior. The piano in the 4th symphony is more balanced as an additional instrument than, for instance, on Antoni Wit's Naxos recording, and I like that, it's a symphony and not a piano concerto. (Although the piano player has lots to do.) The Concert Overture is Strauss (Richard) at it's extreme. Kind of expressionistic extremism in 10 minutes. Love it. The Chandos SACD's in this (until now small Polish Music Series) are worth every penny or Eurocent, but if you really want to have a bargain option, go for the Wit/Naxos ones. I only hope that Chandos takes the time and will find the money to record (somewhat) more obscure Polish composers worth the price: Tadeusz Baird; Emil Mlynarski; Roman Palester; Boleslaw Szabelski to name but a few. In the past they did a very good job for Karlowicz and Tansman, so why not.
And a warning: do never ever buy the CD with Boulez and the Wiener Philharmoniker with the 3rd symphony on it. It's a real miss - see review - wait for the Chandos one! And by the way expensive too.


Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 (Romeo And Juliet/ Pathetique) (Swedish Chamber Orchestra/ Thomas Dausgaard) (BIS: BIS1959)
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 (Romeo And Juliet/ Pathetique) (Swedish Chamber Orchestra/ Thomas Dausgaard) (BIS: BIS1959)
Price: £15.08

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A look into the future or how to eliminate your record company?, 21 Jan 2013
In 2070, all over the world symphony orchestras are scarce. The ones that are left over have to do without any subsidies at all and rely on the money of some local sponsors still interested in classical music. Because much of the classical music ever written relies on the lay out of the classical orchestra orchestral managers couldn't easily cut down woodwind or brass players, and many times you can't do without a timpanist (unless you'll change to string orchestra), so they brilliantly cut down the strings. Problem solved! So from around the 2050s orchestras started to play Tchaikofsky, Bruckner, Mahler, Strauss (R.), with a minimum of strings. (We even got a Ring des Nibelungen with an orchestra of 20 and Wotan singing a double bill as Brunnhilde, nobody cared, it was a resounding success!). Although purists stayed at home many people eventually got used to it and within 10 years it was common practice and eventually the remaining record company (Naxos) recorded some of this music anew! Happily the older generation cherished their very old CD's with recordings by for example the Oslo Philharmonic orchestra under Maris Jansons (in those times - the 1980/90s - they really had 105 players on the pay roll!, wow!) or the very very old Mravinsky recordings from Leningrad - where's that? - or etc. If you buy this CD you can listen to the future. And if you're interested in that it's a very good performance but it doesn't work. You'll miss the opulent warm string tone Tchaikofsky needs, this is like an emperor without clothes on.

Unless you don't take my review seriously another title for my review could be: how to eliminate your record company by issuing drab outings like this? If mr. von Bahr from BIS goes on on this path, he'll certainly manages to do so.


Respighi: Marie Victoire (Oper Berlin) (Takesha Meshé Kizart/ Markus Brück/ Michail Jurowski) (CPO: 777121-2)
Respighi: Marie Victoire (Oper Berlin) (Takesha Meshé Kizart/ Markus Brück/ Michail Jurowski) (CPO: 777121-2)
Price: £27.93

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who dares? Excellent Respighi., 11 Jan 2013
Are there any CD-labels still around who dare to (co-)produce and record operas that weren't performed for over 100 or 200 years? The're must be enormous subsidies on hand in Berlin? Imagine the costs for scenery, soloists, props, costumes, orchestral material, rehearsal time and I bet such a thing will never happen again? Gone are the 1960 and 1970 when renowned soloists and orchestras ánd conductors could lock themselves up for 3 weeks recording La Traviata or Tristan. Sales have gone down enormously so I really wonder if CPO can squeeze something of a profit from this recording of unknown Respighi. But they manage to produce marvel after marvel and with laurels. Here you get everything: a good and sometimes outstandingly good (lead soprano Takesha Meshé Kizart, you'll' certainly hear more of here in the future) performance; stage noise, applause and other audience noises (hope that's no problem for you). In short: a live production. This Respighi's opera is not easy to digest for me: it's long, sometimes confusing, the libretto is so so and the action isn't quick enough for 21st century taste. The orchestration is the true marvel; it has all the Respighian touches which made him famous later. You can also listen to this performance without any libretto and let the French language - some singers sing quasi nasal French - wash over you and drift away in the orchestral accompaniment. (I would recommend that). Well done all! I really do not understand the one star from reviewer Gary: what do iTune problems have to do with the quality of this performance? But: thanks for the warning, buy the CD's, this not only brings you excellent sound but an essay on the music and the libretto too!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 15, 2013 11:42 AM GMT


Dvorak: Symphony No. 9 (Claus Peter Flor/ Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra) (BIS: BIS1856)
Dvorak: Symphony No. 9 (Claus Peter Flor/ Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra) (BIS: BIS1856)
Price: £13.14

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superfluous III?, 8 Jan 2013
Some reviews ago I described the BIS releases of Dvorak's 7th and 8th symphonies as superfluous. I mean: if you record these warhorses anew you've to come with some revelation or new interpretational insight. This new 9th, probably the 1000th or so recording of this war horse is different for me because it contains dark matter. Most conductors like to show of Dvorak's sunny side so you get the impression the sun always shines in Bohemia and Dvorak was a man without troubles. But if, like the recording BIS offers here, you do 3 things you get an altogether somewhat different result: 1. record the whole thing in a rather dark acoustic; 2. let the timpani player go like hell; 3. let the brass sound growling and snarling. The result is a dark menacing Dvorak 9th as if he wasn't very happy over there in the US. But it's only guessing, I really don't know if that was the case or happened; it's just my feeling when I heard this symphony. Here Dvorak gets a Beethovian treatment: the music drives like a restless force and even in the largo I got a feeling of haste. No problem for me; I like the result. The `fillers', the Czech suite and the overture are very well played and do have the same energy as the main work. Even the sunny Czech suite has it's dark edges under Flor and the magnificent Malaysian PO. It's a pity there're many problems around this orchestra, if you like try to find the many internet discussions around this topic, and this could be BIS last recording from this venue. Collectors who've hoped to hear some other symphonies by these forces will be disappointed. I think. Which is a great pity; they're worth your money.


Dagmar Schellenberger Sings Siegfried Wagner
Dagmar Schellenberger Sings Siegfried Wagner
Offered by KAOZI168-CLASSICAL---*SHIPPED IN TIME *
Price: £31.60

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Example of inadequate singing, 21 Dec 2012
Siegfried Wagner's rather light flowing music, without many climaxes which can give the voice many problems is still way too problematic for mrs. Schellenberger. It's a real pity that such fine orchestral playing and supportive conducting is spoiled by singing that's very very fatiguing on the ear, unclear, constantly under stress, too much use of light vibrato. Beware the moments Schellenberger tries to sing somewhat loud; my cat couldn't stand it and fled out of the living room. It's a shame CPO; this shouldn't be released.


Dvorak: Symphony No. 8 (Spinning Wheel/ Scherzo Cap) (Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra; Claus Peter Flor) (BIS: BISSACD1976)
Dvorak: Symphony No. 8 (Spinning Wheel/ Scherzo Cap) (Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra; Claus Peter Flor) (BIS: BISSACD1976)
Price: £14.40

4.0 out of 5 stars Superfluous II?, 14 Dec 2012
Some reviews ago I called the BIS releases of Dvorak's 7the symphony superfluous. I mean: if you record these warhorses anew you've to come with some revelation or new interpretational insight. Flor doesn't give this although his Dvorak sounds darker than most recent interpretations which always seem to show the sunny side of the Pilsner Urquell Bohemian country. Still, George Szell with the Cleveland orchestra; Rafael Kubelik with the Berliner Philharmoniker and Istvan Kertesz with the London symphony are to be preferred if you wish. In three different ways they give you all. If we consider the recording quality this release is superb. It's one of those rich, dynamic and warm BIS recordings. Pity that a very good orchestra like this Asian one seems to be gone within a year or so. Probably this is one of their last recordings - no doubt Dvorak 9 will follow - and they will be remembered for some great recordings: Smetana's Ma Vlast; Rimsky-Korsakof orchestral works; Martucci symphonies, all to be found on this side.


Tchaikovsky: The Sleeping Beauty (Neeme Järvi/ James Ehnes/ Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra) (Chandos: CHSA 5113(2))
Tchaikovsky: The Sleeping Beauty (Neeme Järvi/ James Ehnes/ Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra) (Chandos: CHSA 5113(2))
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £17.78

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Why so extreme?, 12 Dec 2012
This state of the art recording has it's extremes. Jarvi chooses the symphonic path with his interpretation of Tchaikofsky's masterly ballet. Without any cuts he manages to go through this whole long work in 155 minutes. My reference recording of this work - Dorati on Philips with the fantastic Concertgebouworkest - takes 15 minutes longer and fits on three CD's. I hope economy of means wasn't the motivation of Chandos and Jarvi to squeeze this on two SACD's because technical matters don't work here: I've some SACD's that play perfectly well for 90 minutes. So the lightning speed in many passages must be seen as interpretational choices. That's why many passages are breathless and slower passages don't breath enough. Jarvi states in a recent interview he has become faster and faster with his coming of age. `Many older conductors tend to get slower, not me!' he exalts. Bottom line is: if you like this ballet really exaggerated with presto allegros and allegro andantes this is for you. It sounds like a (long) symphony nr.8 by the composer. If you like perfect recordings this one is for you, exemplary notes, great presentation. But that's the package: mind the message!


Parry: Orchestral/ Choral Works (Amanda Roocroft/ BBC National Orchestra of Wales/ Neeme Järvi) (Chandos: CHAN 10740)
Parry: Orchestral/ Choral Works (Amanda Roocroft/ BBC National Orchestra of Wales/ Neeme Järvi) (Chandos: CHAN 10740)
Price: £15.99

2 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mr. Jarvi the omnivore, 27 Nov 2012
No doubt it's fabulous that a conductor of the stature of Neeme Jarvi can be triggered to record such unfamiliar repertoire as this. Where does this man find the time to delve in this repertoire considering he's busy in Bergen recording Svendsen and Tchaikovsky, recording Raff in Geneve and recording whatever in Glasgow? He's an all rounder and an omnivore.
Parry isn't a household name in the UK, so I wonder, would he be in the rest of Europe, could it be so that there's a market for this kind of recordings outside the English speaking world? I doubt that. The music is hardly inspiring and seems to be not of this world anymore. Composed over 100 years ago time has done it's damaging effect on the art of choral music in general; it all sounds really boring and old fashioned. I think you must be very patriotic to believe in this music. I'd strongly recommend Parry's symphonies to anyone interested in Elgar but if you can't swallow Elgar's choral music you really will have problems with this release too. I'd recommend this for patriotic Brits who are more than normally interested in choral music and in Huber Parry in general and for completists who wish to own every tidbit of British choral music that'll be recorded.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 2, 2012 8:21 PM GMT


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